Perfect Petaia, Paisami and Drua desire combine to make rugby the winner despite Super frustrations

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Wow. How do you describe what happened at Suncorp Stadium tonight?

The Queensland Reds appeared to be coasting to a comfortable win before a spirited Fijian side lit up the Super Rugby Pacific competition with a dominate 10-minute period to completely turn the match on its head.

The Reds won 33-28 but that was only half the story.

It was a rollercoaster of emotions for Reds fans.

The opening 15 minutes was scintillating but an almost hour long first half showcased the problems with the sport as paralysis by analysis from the officials snuffed out the momentum.

Before all that though it was end-to-end rugby as Jordan Petaia showed why he loves playing in the no.15 jersey with a couple of incredible plays including the opening try. His turn of pace down the wing was rugby heaven.

The Reds out-Fijied Fiji in the opening stages and their aggressive game style was fantastic to watch. The Drua actually had to slow down the Reds in order to stay in the contest and the way they did that proved how much they’ve learnt in their short time in the competition.

Hunter Paisami was again at his brilliant best and if Aussie teams like the Reds are to challenge their Kiwi counterparts at the back end of Super Rugby Pacific it is guys like him who will need to keep stepping up.

“The Reds are a totally different team with Hunter Paisami at 13,” Tim Horan said.

“The way he straightens the attack up – gets across the advantage line. He’s got size both in attack and also in defence.”

“I tell you what I really enjoyed his passing game tonight.”

There were farcical scenes towards the end of the first half when the TMO took an eternity to review multiple incidents of foul play.

It was a double yellow card for the Reds which was then followed by a yellow card for Fiji just as the referee was about to re-start the action.

Harry Hoopert, Josh Nasser and Samu Tawake all received their marching orders.

“Have you ever seen three yellow cards in 30 seconds?” Stan commentator Sean Maloney asked.

Tim Horan was frustrated by the length of time it took to make a decision.

“This is the part of the game we’ve got to quicken up,” he said.

The commentary team went through each decision one-by-one at the halftime break.

Drew Mitchell summed up the thoughts of many watching on.

“World Rugby just need to make some sort of adjustment now because it’s having too much of an impact on the game,” he said.

“By process they’ve (the referees’) got the decisions right.”

“The referees are judged on their performances as well and by process they went through it and they got it right but I’m just so tired of having to pick these guys apart because it takes the pulse out of the game.”

The Drua kept the game close thanks to their defence and sharpshooter Teti Tela.

They had a big chance to score a try in the 50th minute but a sensational covering tackle by Petaia showed he’s not just an attacking presence on the field.

“He’s the most freakish athlete I’ve seen on a football field since I saw Wendell Sailor play,” Morgan Turinui said about Petaia’s performance.

The Reds blew out the margin and appeared to have the game in hand but the Drua found something in the tank with a brilliant counter-attack.

Three incredible tries in quick succession tied up the scores.

“The Reds are the victors but the Drua are the story,” a quote perfectly summed up the match from Turinui post-game.

“People will be scratching their heads about how (the game) ended out,” Reds coach Brad Thorn said.

“Bad luck to the Drua. I talked to Mick Byrne (Fiji coach) and said just ‘outstanding by your guys’ but yeah we’ve got some work to do.”

The Reds survived the almighty scare and now take on the Brumbies in Canberra which promises to be a mouth-watering fixture next weekend.

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